As your horsemanship journey continues, you will find that there are many trainers and clinicians that offer a variety of horse training techniques and programs. Ironically, most had early exposure to true horsemanship through feel, but over the years have developed short cuts and methods to get the job done faster for their clients. And while this may appear efficient, it isn't always in the best interest of the horse and rider. Safety is sacrificed for short term gains, and so is the mutually understood language of feel. So, take the time it takes to get it right.
In 1999, I read the book "True Horsemanship through Feel" by internationally known clinician Leslie Desmond and legendary horseman Bill Dorrance. It wasn't until I actually watched Leslie Desmond give a demonstration at the Equine Affair several years later that I truly understood the difference between "true horsemanship through feel" and other methods of horse training like pressure and domination. During her demonstration, Leslie asked the crowd,"does what you do with your horse on the ground carry over to your ride in the saddle?" This simple statement combined with the true horsemanship that Leslie demonstrated that day had a profound impact on me and became an important facet of my training philosophy.
Horsemanship is both an art an a science. The art comes from understanding the natural way of the horse through years of experience with many horses. The science or techniques behind good horsemanship have been developed over centuries by great horsemen from around the world. As the horse continues to evolve from being necessary for work to simply a pleasure and sport companion, I believe that people are developing more empathy and want to create a better and more enjoyable relationship with their equine partner. My approach and training techniques have been developed over the past 25 years and are based on my experience with my clients, my own horses and my work with mustangs. The Kinship with Horses Philosophy brings together the best of the modern masters of horsemanship including Buck Brannaman, Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, Bill Dorrance, Leslie Desmond and Jean Luc Cornille.